PES2014: Season 8 gets underway

welcome wunderkind RobbieSeason 8 has begun on PES2014, and with it the serious business of trying to actually win things. Until now I’ve just been squad-building and finding my feet in this new-old game. I’ve even recently had my first wobbly session, in which the game seemed like more work than pleasure.

That ‘wobble factor’ is an intrinsic part of football gaming when you indulge in the pastime as much as I do. There’ll always be stretches when you’re just not that into it. I always remember the late Terry Wogan saying his then thrice-weekly chat show had to be bland and routine sometimes, because that’s how things become beloved.

I play nearly every day and that kind of routine has to generate a wobbly session or two. Time passes and a football game matures in your hands. It’s unavoidable.

The more wobbly footy games show themselves through a sustained kind of dispirited disinterest that the Internet age renders as ‘meh’. So far that has not been the fate of PES2014. I’ll make a bold prediction that it won’t happen to PES2014 at any stage.

Looking back, the ‘meh’ factor has arguably never happened to any PES game until long past the stage of ‘completion’, when I might have played for a season or two too long. It tends to be the FIFA games that get the ‘meh’ treatment. But I have digressed.

PES2014 season 8 new Home kit

A new Home kit for Season 8, and a chance to try out one of my favourite homebrew types of kits: the chequerboard pattern. (Or the Croatia-style as I still think of it, thanks to those classic early 2000s strips.)

Those shorts and socks are not black, but very dark blue.

I left the Away kit alone. It’s a rare match when I get to play in my black-and-orange kit, and it’ll take another few seasons for it to start to seem old.

Onto the transfer market, and I had a pleasant surprise,. After 7 seasons of scrapping for journeymen, I was pleased to see that some useful players want to play for me now. My 5th-place finish and Europa League qualification obviously counts for something.

I treated myself to one of PES2014’s Regen wunderkinder. I could have had a few more of them, but I don’t want to give my team – and this PES – an artificial feel. You know, no more of an artificial feel than something made of pixels, plastic and imagination could possess, anyway.

Robbie Keane was the wunderkind. A former real-life Coventry City player, of course. Our record signing at the time. I wasn’t actually there at Highfield Road in 1999 when the stadium announcer proudly introduced him as ‘…Roy Keane!!!’, but I wish I had been. Wonderful days.

My List of Targets was suddenly populated with great players. Loads of players rated 85 and above with a better-than-80% chance of signing. I rubbed my hands with something like glee and got down to business.

I didn’t go crazy. I have team spirit and Heart and all that stuff to consider. And I wanted to save some cash for mid-season. I might get there and need another top striker urgently. I settled for a couple of established 25-year-olds, Bianchi at AMF and Ceballos at CB. Plenty of cash in the bank for a mid-season transfer raid if needed.

Here’s my full Season 8 Squad and preferred First XI:

PES2014 Season 8 squad and First XIThis lot have got to be good for a Champions League finish, and good progress in the Europa League, I’m thinking. Famous last words…


  1. NG – I have always been a lover of having a balanced squad/team and that team of yours certainly looks so. Interestingly you have to Keane forwards.

    Season 2 in Div 2 of my PES 2011 ML has started well and am 2nd after 10 games. I think I will move up difficulty next season as games are still tight I feel I am moving into a confort zone now.

  2. not-Greg – would confess that I had also concluded the right stick shoulder barge has no discernible impact. Very interested if Jamiey returns to give us more info on his experiences though

    your squad coming together nicely in classic ML style. I got disillusioned with my previous PES2014 ML as it was quite ridiculous to still be in the bottom half of D2 despite Maicon, Forlan, Giggs et al in my team partly thanks to a transfer exploit. This time I am aiming to get the foundations in place first, with solid formation/style/tactics using journeymen players. 1 bar passing but no cheat transfers. Can’t wait to get back into the game tomorrow after half-term week away. The first Xenoblade Chronicles on 3DS has kept me richly entertained though; I have found myself reloading the previous save a few times just to replay some particularly memorable battles and cut-scenes

  3. Werd – QPR are a mainstay of the PL in this ML world, top six material.

    NG – even though I’ve not done the Treble yet, got a new crop of stars about to shine. Names for future videos will be Baggio, Ibrahimovic, Iniesta and Bale. Boom.

  4. Darryl – as you might have seen in your PES2011 re-read of the blog, I had a relegation season in D1 on Top Player, so tread carefully up there…

    abbeyhill – another restart? If you don’t buckle and play Top Player you could be at this forever! Re. other games, I’m completely captivated by XCOM2, which is shaping up to be one of the best strategy games I have ever played, full stop. Nothing will ever top the best of Civilization for me, but XCOM2 is almost there. Surprisingly so, as while I thoroughly enjoyed XCOM1, it wasn’t earth-shaking.

    Lloyd – will be watching that latest vid in morning. Bale as an up-and-comer? I’m expecting great goals, needless to say.

  5. NG – I am only on regular mode as I have found as we are conditioned to the way the newer games play these old ones seem a lot tougher. I also am treating it like playing a new game and had planned to ease up through the gears gradually, say 2 seasons on regular, 3 on pro, 3 on top player and the rest of superstar.

  6. Lloyd – just watched your vid posted on the previous thread – your galacticos team is amazing. I liked the free kick at around 1:30 this time, and Drogba is a beast. Barry is like the dream DMF. The game looks very good overall, but I’m still not tempted back.

  7. I scored this beauty in my PES 2011 session this morning. Forgive my rubbish phone recording.

  8. Surely it’s only a matter of time before Lloyd trebles it….and abbeyhill would never go to top player. Bear with it, I’m on for a mid table finsh with just the three signings. A useful goalie and a good striker and I reckon I’d be near the top in season two.

    Just back from a fun fair with the family. Went on a waltzer for the first time in twenty years. F’kin ell, I nearly fell over coming off and felt sick as a pig walking home. I am clearly old now.

  9. Darryl – very nice goal – very PES2011-sh, and very PESish… I love the goals that happen from a cleared cross or corner.

    Uncle Turf – abbeyhill’s failure so far to gain any kind of momentum is indeed puzzling. PES2014 is challenging, but not that much…

    As for waltzers, the last time I was on them was at about the age of 20. The experience was nothing like the fun, innocent thrill that I remembered from my childhood visits to funfairs. The g-forces seemed so extreme that I was convinced I was about to die and felt real terror. I climbed off with the sense that I had survived some kind of plane-crash-level experience. Never again.

  10. it’s not a new restart, just the one from a couple of weeks ago, my second effort with the defaults this time with Sassuolo. Puzzling indeed, it could be that advancing age plus two years on FIFA have eradicated my PES ability.

  11. that XCOM2 does sound amazing based on your impressions not-Greg and also the Edge review, like an even better Fire Emblem. I do wonder what will happen to your blog going forward if all the best single player games coming out are not football games

  12. abbeyhill – I’ve yet to play PES2014 on Superstar, so we’ll see what happens then. I don’t feel the need to step up just yet, and might just play my whole time on PES2014 on Top Player.

    XCOM2 is very Fire Emblemish, with permadeath for every single character. There’s no Cron equivalent whose demise prompts a Game Over screen. They’re all expendable, and just as in XCOM1, you can have your entire experienced personnel wiped out, forcing you to limp along with Rookies for a bit (who also get wiped out almost immediately), until you give up and restart the whole campaign, trying a different research path or whatever. I was forced into doing that twice on XCOM1, and am approaching – after 25 hours of settling in – my first instance of it on XCOM2. Like I said, XCOM1 was very good but not great IMO. XCOM2 is so far great. I think the addition of turn-timed missions has made it so. Timed missions in XCOM2 force you to take risks you could get away with not taking in XCOM1. You really sweat on the fates of your favourite characters, and that’s what makes it so much better as a strategy game. Feeling personally connected to the characters is hitting the motherlode when it comes to immersion, as we know from Master League.

  13. Season 16 has commenced. QPR are top after 4 games.

    NG – got a couple at Gerrard specials lined up for the next couple of videos. He’s still got at 31, oldest player in the squad. Boom.

  14. Mid table obscurity continues but it’s a solid platform for season two. Hardly any of the defaults are definite starters, I can just as easily play rustwyth alongside vratakov as I can minandinho and aakobjerg. I’ll definitely be looking for a striker and maybe a goalie.

    Car had its first hundred plus mile run out after the fuelling arse up. No problem. So far.

  15. hopefully you’ll be fine Turf. I was thinking about your predicament when refuelling at Sainsbury’s, and triple checking I had the diesel pump, a couple of hours ago. Surely the different fuels would mix rather than be consumed in sequence, it is basically all refined oil after all

    PES2014 defaults are deceiving – mostly young and around 70 OVR but none of them really progress and the individual stats look unimpressive. Same with the initial youths. I do like the wide midfielders Houligeu and Van Boraad though

  16. I’ve never driven any kind of motorised vehicle in my entire life. Never filled a tank of petrol. Never even sat behind the steering wheel of a stationary car for fun. Is that a peculiar fact about a fully-grown man or what? People I meet in daily life who hear about it for whatever reason don’t believe it, but it is true. Why? How? they always ask, with degrees of agonised curiosity, as if horseless-carriage driving is something inevitable that I’ve mysteriously dodged.

    My sense about PES2014 at this season 2 stage of my reborn 8-season career is that it’s not really as hard as all that – what’s hard to overcome are more our expectations of how to play a football game. Successive games have generated an expectation that passing lanes will always be left open, pretty much, but they’re frequently stepped across by AI players and intercepted. For just one example.

  17. Had I lived and worked in a large city or had no need for driving outside of it i’d have never bothered either, I find driving hugely boring but my first job was as a rep so I needed to. Ive seen more industrial estates than is good for you. The only time I do like it is when we pile in as a family and head to scotland, the lakes or Yorkshire, anywhere I can get off the motorways. However yours is a bit extreme NG, I would have thought a go kart or maybe even a Sinclair c5 might have made it. Ive managed both a milk float and a combine harvester.

    I’m findng 2014 is fine for knocking the ball around but getting that final pass threaded through is tough. Most of my goals start with set pieces. I think it will change when my midfield gets better but +1 feels like it’s just barely assisted passing, more times it doesn’t compensate for a 60 odd ability to find the right direction.

  18. NG – up until the age of 36 I was with you there but I then got a job that I was told I could apply for even though it was an essential car users post but I didn’t drive. Long story but the deal was I could do it but would have to take lessons. Until then I had not been behind a wheel and had never had any desire whatsoever to do so. I booked two weeks off and had block lessons with a very patient instructor, who had his work cut out with me. After four tests I had enough and it was just not for me as I hated every minute of it. I can’t stand driving games either. I have always said that you don’t see society’s elite driving do you? Leave em to it is what I say.

  19. The test is only half the story, I was terrible once I realised I’d be in the car on my own fully capable of driving into a bus queue. For the first few weeks I coasted up to traffic lights as I was so bad at doing that whole stop, clutch, get set thing. One car I owned had a foot operated hand brake, what a nightmare to get used to that was.

    So what’s the furthest you’ve been? Quad bike? Powered scooter? Dodgem at the fairground? I bought something the other day and for the guarantee I was told I needed to give either a phone number or an email address. I pointed out neither where actually a legal requirement, like the passport and drivers licence that seem to be needed for every application.

  20. I am also a non driver. I didn’t really ride a bike properly until 10. I remember I got a shiny red bike for Christmas when I was 4. I cried my eyes out for some reason and my parents never really bothered after that meltdown.

    I was at Seaham Hall treating Mrs Werd to a massage, spa facilities and 2 course meal on Saturday. 37 years of knots and stress melted away.

  21. I don’t drive either, never got round to it and can’t be arsed now.

    More Pro Evo this week, off work and house empty all week. BOOM.

  22. Dodgem cars are the only cars of any description I’ve ever driven, and technically they’re not motorised vehicles as they’re powered from the overhead grid. So I’ve never been behind the wheel of anything with a motor. I think I’d enjoy driving, but I wouldn’t enjoy other people driving around me. Also, this whole deal with spending all that time and money on a car, and then leaving it out in the street… You what with the what now??? I’d have to check on it every few minutes, and make sure nobody’s walking near it or looking at it covetously. I’d want that thing inside the house with me, preferably in the same room as me. So if I did drive, not only would I require there to be no other drivers, I’d need a large house with a garage that I could sleep in alongside my car. It’s probably for the best that I have no plans, not even faint ‘one day I’ll get round to it’ plans, of ever learning to drive.

  23. Arsenal-style passing moves and final little through-balls tend to lead to most of my goals in PES2014. I do wish it was more boom-tastic from distance. But I’m still playing, fascinated.

  24. This is brilliant, all the non-drivers, represent! Peculiar too as I’ve never come across such a concentration of them (of us!) before. I’ve met the odd one or two, but always singly, and we share that whole ‘why do people get so wound up about us not driving???’ thing.

  25. Back from a half-term break that involved lots of driving but no gaming.

    I’ve driven for more than 20 years and having my own car (as crappy as it was) turned out to be a huge bonus when I was in my late teens/early twenties on both a personal and professional level.

    I like driving but I don’t like cars really. I tend to begrudgingly buy a car and drive it until it drives no more. The cost of owning a car is an absolute pain even though I’ve only ever had second hand cars and never on finance.

    The freedom a car provides makes it worth it as does the fact that dealing with other motorists is more bearable than mixing it with the miserable masses on public transport.

  26. I used to get a car allowance so would have a change every 18 months or so. In my 22 years of driving I’ve had 11 cars I reckon, plus numerous assorted company/rental/courtesy cars. The sums of money you get fiddled out of every time you trade are eye watering, plus the running costs, hassle when things go wrong, etc etc. If you don’t need to you really are best off without. However, I can’t imagine how much time would be wasted if I had to use alternatives – I can’t use the train every time I go to Uni as it simply doesn’t get there in time for my meetings (doesn’t LLoyd own a train company? – sort it out, boom). Besides which playing Marillion at full blast as you go over the pennines is a small joy.

  27. Don’t get me wrong I can drool over a Lambo etc but I wouldn’t trust myself in a car. I have seen myself play GTA. I would probs do a Turf and put the wrong fuel in, forget to pay and drive on the wrong side of road blissfully unaware of the carnage.

  28. Not driving means I’ve probably missed out on professional and romantic opportunities, but public transport gets me everywhere I need to go and holds few horrors for me. I do dislike ridiculously packed-out buses (more common in the last few decades as profit has displaced service). But I can always get off and walk. I have my books and audiobooks. I never think about driving and have practically zero knowledge of cars. When American movies mention stick-shifts I can just about surmise that they’re talking about the knobby thing in-between the driver and passenger seats.

    I’ve never watched an episode of Top Gear — there’d be no reason to.

    If I ever have to describe cars to people I am stuck. I can recognise a Jaguar or a Mini, but literally everything in-between is just ‘a blue car’, ‘a red car with a shiny window’ etc. If you told me you drove a Volvo or a Saab or whatever I’d have no idea at all what that meant.

    A work colleague once asked me to go to the carpark to get something from her car, telling me it was parked ‘on the left’, and it was a ‘silver Rover’ with the clear expectation that I would know what that meant and would locate it easily using just that information. (In the same way that I’d assume anybody would know what I meant by ‘a grey 13-inch laptop’.) Twenty minutes later I returned empty-handed and sheepish.

    I once saw a minor car accident at close range at night, and when asked what kind of cars were involved all I could say was ‘they were dark-coloured’.

  29. I would bet 10p that abbeyhill has a dark coloured BMW.

    I’ve got no real interest in cars either but it is interesting that there is a noticeable change in attitude from other drivers when I’m driving my wife’s little Toyota – far more likely to turn in ahead of you or think they can beat you on a roundabout.

    I’ve sold Coynborough already from my squad, he feels completely redundant in the 2014 lineup, neither centre half nor effective Dmf. He didn’t even display much heart which would be the main feature of his real life game.

  30. I don’t see that the fact you drive/own a car means you therefore have an interest/knowledge of cars or that it makes Top Gear more palatable to you. It doesn’t for me. I like what cars do by way of transporting you from one place to another when you want with less hassle but that’s as far as it goes. I don’t know all the bits and bobs under the bonnet or the latest models etc. The fact that some people get all excited or can tell a good car by its licence number/letter is a mystery to me.

    On the other hand, I’m often quite impressed and interested by planes but I could easily live the rest of my days without ever again adding to my five flights in the blue yonder.

  31. hey Turf, you may be confusing me with Paul! Where on earth is Paul by the way, he should be all over this PES2014 chat? It’s actually a silver Honda CRV. Limited interest in cars, like most of you, but I was really impressed with a test drive of a Tesla last month; convinced that the future is electric vehicles

    Coynborough is utterly rubbish in 2014, looks like he was a one season wonder

    Werd – a two course dinner, you really know how to treat a lady!!

  32. The only benefit to understanding cars is not being ripped off when they go wrong. I have a trustworthy mechanic down the road so my complete ignorance doesn’t prove an issue.

    Abbeyhill – didn’t see that at all, definitely envisaged you in a company car type european make with heated this and that. Paul would be in something a little more sporty – perhaps an Audi with the enhanced trim or a golf with the top of the range add ons. I still see him on linkedin so I guess he no longer games much.

  33. I can’t believe this site has such a concentration of non-drivers. I considered myself a late passer of the driving test at 24, but now it appears I’m quite the Stirling Moss.

  34. Just scored a goal that made me grin like an imbecile through all the replays. Will feature on season 16 video.

  35. Abbeyhill – She declined a starter. I didn’t and treat myself to an Espresso while watching her eat her cheesecake. Have you seen the prices in Seaham Hall?!

    When Mrs Werd asks me to adjust the seats or open the boot I look at her as if my Mother has just walked out of her face. She usually sighs and does it herself.

  36. Lloyd – So many BOOMing good goals there that I can’t work out which one got you most BOOMed!

  37. Shed — Lloyd’s boom-tastic goal will be in Season 16 (the above compilation is Season 15). I just bet it’s a Gareth Bale special.

    Lloyd — you already know my pick’s the Gerrard ranger at 2:05 or so. But I liked the Alexis Sanchez combo-goal at around 1:00 where he hits teh bar first and the keeper does a double-save.

    Talk of goals that have you grinning and Gerrard reminds me of this, my favourite goal from PES2015:

    Any excuse.

    As for Coynborough in PES2014, agreed, he is utterly unremarkable. After his stellar debut in PES2013, you’d think they’d build on that and have him at least at the same stature. But no. Which serves to support the often-made point that Konami really don’t understand Master League and why it’s revered so much.

  38. NG – love that goal, nice to see it again. It’s not Bale and it’s not a long shot either. Boom.

  39. Bad run of games tonight sees me down to 12th. I do like the shorter season in pre 2015 pes as this would be a long slog to nowhere otherwise. I’m finding the lack of speed off the mark in the forwards is an issue. I regularly knock balls into feet only to find the defender nipping in to take it. There’s no one beyond an offer in return, the team feels very interchangeable, the beginning of the default lack of individual traits, they’re all pretty similar in speed, shooting and passing no matter what the stats say.

    Completely off topic this is the first time there’s been talk about a vote when I havent a clue how I will. I’m a genuine don’t know and that’s really an odd feeling.

  40. Werd – we have just got a new mini as the misses was in an accident and the previous car got wrote off. I had to put something in the boot yesterday and I stood there with my hands on my hips for ages.

    Just to add to the chaos of our mad household we have a puppy now and has disturbed early morning PES time.

    Turf – on the subject of the referendum I really couldn’t care less as I have become completely disinterested in politics, which is a complete turnaround as I used to be very politically motivated at one time. Then you see it for what it is and that is another layer of nonsense in our lives. I wouldn’t trust our so called political elite to run a bath.

  41. Darryl – what dog have you got? I’ve got a black lab, when he was a puppy he pulled up the front room carpet. We now have wood floors.

  42. Uncle Turf — I’m also seeing a levelling-off of player types. It’s definitely still there, much more so than in PES2016 and PES2015 too. For example, my new young Regen Robbie Keane is very individual (I know when he’s on the ball, and he can do things my other players can’t), as is his strike partner Gomis, but my AMFs all seem to be much of a muchness. My left-back, Ismail, also stands out, but my CBs are basically just moving pixels. So it’s fascinating to see how PES changed direction beginning with PES2014. The two editions that came after it tinkered with this new reduced individuality formula some more, leading to the state of play today. Historians of PES will — unfairly — single out PES2014 as the start of the downturn in player individuality, but it was only the start.

    And — voting? What’s that like?

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